Prithviraj Chavan new Maharashtra CM

The announcement of Prithvi Chavan’s name was made by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi on Wednesday.

A man with clean image and a staunch loyalist of the Gandhi family, Prithviraj Chavan succeeds Ashok Chavan who had to demit office in the wake of the Adarsh Society scam
Well-ensconced in New Delhi, AICC general secretary and Union Minister Prithviraj Chavan, though an efficient administrator who also enjoys a clean image, may not have the backing of state legislators. He is considered close to both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, and is said to coordinate between 7 RCR and 10 Janpath.
Congress sources said hours after Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan was asked by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to submit his resignation to Governor K Sankarnarayanan, Union Ministers Prithviraj Chavan and Sushil Kumar Shinde appeared to be locked in the race to be his successor.

Prithviraj Chavan new Maharashtra CM

Late on Tuesday evening, the Congress Legislature Party, in the presence of central observers Pranab Mukherjee and A K Antony, passed a one-line resolution authorising the Congress president to pick the new chief minister of Maharashtra.
The Congress’s coalition partner, the NCP, was learnt to be finalising a succession plan of its own. Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal is likely to be replaced by Ajit Pawar. Senior NCP leaders including Union Minister Praful Patel and veterans D P Tripathi and Tariq Anwar are scheduled to attend the NCP Legislature Party meeting in Mumbai on Wednesday in which Bhujbal’s successor is likely to be picked, sources said.
Earlier on Tuesday, in a clean-up act clearly aimed at pre-empting the Opposition from raising the issue of alleged irregular allotments in the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society in Mumbai and alleged corruption in the Commonwealth Games, Sonia Gandhi decided to accept the resignation of Chief Minister Chavan. She also got CWG Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi to quit the post of secretary, Congress Parliamentary Party.
Chavan had earlier offered his resignation to the Congress president in the wake of the controversy over the allotment of flats to his relatives in Adarsh. The Congress high command asked Mukherjee and Antony to submit a report, buying time before the visit of President Barack Obama to Mumbai. Chavan was asked to resign shortly after Obama flew out of India this morning.Party general secretary Rahul Gandhi, who usually refrains from commenting on intra-party affairs, spelt out the criteria for Chavan’s successor. He told reporters at Parliament House that the next CM should be “capable and (someone who) can deliver”. Asked if the next CM has to be “clean”, he said, “Of course”.

Prithviraj Chavan new Maharashtra CM

Rahul’s comments could have a bearing on Shinde’s prospects. The Union Power Minister was chief minister of Maharashtra when Adarsh was given final clearance. One of his associates was also reported to have got a flat in the building. On Tuesday evening, there was apprehension in Congress circles that his return as CM could hand more ammunition to the Opposition.
Sources said former Union Minister Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil’s advanced age — he is 78 — could go against him, as could the fact that he was a Shiv Sena Minister in the NDA government. Sonia Gandhi was learnt to have spoken to NCP chief Sharad Pawar earlier in the day. Both leaders were said to be disinclined to hand over the reins of the government of such a crucial state to a former Shiv Sena man.
State Agriculture Minister Balasaheb Thorat had “only an outside chance, if at all”, sources said.
Earlier, Mukherjee had indicated that Chavan’s resignation had been accepted on the basis of “perception”. “I am not going to make a value judgement. It was not a regular inquiry commission… We went on certain aspects. Political decisions are taken many times on perception and based on certain facts,” he said in New Delhi.
Source: India Syndicate and Indian Express